Overclocking, MCE & How We Test
Intel borrowed the AVX offset feature from its high-end processors, introducing it to mainstream CPUs during the Kaby Lake generation. Densely-packed AVX workloads are power-hungry, and thus generate far more heat than non-AVX tasks. The offset is responsible for pulling frequency back when the processor executes AVX instructions, allowing you to achieve higher overclocks without worrying about AVX workloads causing instability.
The feature came in handy for our Core i3-8350K overclocking efforts. We dialed in a 5 GHz clock rate at 1.32V and passed numerous non-AVX stress tests. But we couldn't achieve stability with AVX-enabled utilities unless we exceeded our preferred limit of 1.35V. Adjusting the AVX offset to -2 set a 4.8 GHz ceiling in AVX workloads. That proved to be Prime95-stable for extended periods.
Since Core i3-8350K doesn't come with a bundled heat sink and fan, we used our Corsair H115i for testing. Temperatures remained under 70°C with the beefy thermal solution, so heat wasn't a problem as we overclocked. Of course, your mileage may vary, especially if you top Core i3-8350K with a more value-oriented cooler.
We also have several overclocked Ryzen models in our test pool. These chips are famously sensitive to memory performance, so we attempted to test all overclocked AMD CPUs at a 3200 MT/s data rate. Ryzen 5 1400 was the only processor that fell short, stabilizing at 2933 MT/s.
Multi-Core Enhancement (MCE)
MSI motherboards feature a default Enhanced Turbo feature that allows K-series processors to run at their maximum Turbo Boost bin across all cores at all times. This setting modifies the CPU's clock rate and voltage to deliver higher performance, which is basically factory-sanctioned overclocking. Again, MSI turns this on by default in its BIOS, similar to most of its competition. Performance, power consumption, and heat are all affected, naturally. We manually disable this option for our stock CPU testing to reflect Intel's specifications.
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
MSI continues its Z-series Gaming Pro motherboards, giving the latest implementation similar features as previous models. Pricing should also end up similar. The exact board details and specifications can be found on the manufacturer's website.
|Test System & Configuration|
|Hardware||Intel LGA 1151 (Z370):Intel Core i5-8600K, i5-8400, i3-8350KMSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC4x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666, 2933, and 3200 AMD Socket AM4 AMD Ryzen 5 1500X, Ryzen 5 1600, Ryzen 5 1400, Ryzen 3 1300XMSI X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium2x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2667 and 3200 Intel LGA 1151 (Z270)Intel Core i3-7350K, i5-7400 MSI Z270 Gaming M72x 8GB G.Skill RipJaws V DDR4-3200 @ 2666 and 3200 All EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FE 1TB Samsung PM863 SilverStone ST1500-TI, 1500W Windows 10 Creators Update Version 1703Corsair H115i|
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